Before I start this I just want to throw out a quick preface. I don’t normally do reviews for bigger national acts. I mainly chose to focus on the smaller bands that could benefit greatly from some free exposure and this is a rarity. So now that I have that out of the way; I’m Steven Jeffries from Audiovein Entertainment and this is a retrospective review of Slipknots’ “Iowa”
I intended to have this out a week or so ago, but I had to let it marinate some and I figured what better day to have this published than on the albums 18th birthday. That’s right everyone Iowa is now legal. I also wanted to do this because every time Slipknot put out new music it is automatically compared to this album by both the fans and the band themselves, and while I enjoy We Are Not Your Kind I chose to ignore it when the Iowa comparisons are brought up for one reason and one reason only… There will never be another Iowa, this album is as one of a kind as you can get. It’s pure piss and vinegar and a product of the time. An album was written by nine dudes who were all fucked up, angry and depressed at the time. You cannot reproduce those kinds of feelings. Slipknot are not angry Twenty-somethings anymore and their age shows in how their music is presented. The band is mostly sober these days and they all have families, when you have those kinds of things in your life, it’s really difficult to recreate how you felt when you were young and fucked up all the time. Slipknot will never release another Iowa and it’s time that we all just accept that and enjoy the fact that they’re still making music and still play a majority of songs from this album live. Speaking of which…
Not only is Iowa my favorite Slipknot album, but it’s my actual favorite album. I love this album more than I love myself and I know that’s hard to believe but it’s true. In 1999 Slipknot released their debut Self-Titled album. Which to put it mildly was a buttfuck insane Nu-Metal album. It had loads of samples, rapping, and effects. Now when that’s your first album and your first mark on the music business how do you follow that up? By removing a majority of the hip-hop influence and replacing with more thrash and death metal influence, and before you say anything about that I know this isn’t a death metal album it’s still considered Nu-Metal but with a lot of influence from death and thrash. This album is dark, visceral, and there is not a happy thing about this album. Hell “People=Shit” was the bands’ way of telling people to fuck off and lets us do our thing. Hell, the front half of this album is an almost 30 minute fuck you. Disasterpiece, Everything Ends, The Heretic Anthem and my personal favorite, “My Plague.” That song is the reason I play music.
I’ve heard a few people say the second half of the album is largely forgettable but I have to disagree. Things just take a really weird turn, the songs are still heavy but this is the half of the album that still has some of the Nu-Metal from the previous album. Gently is mostly clean and ambient until it breaks into a heavy outro. Left behind is probably the softest song here and it still has high points. The Shape has Corey do some spitfire scream rapping, which was cool before fronz started doing it. All of these songs are weird in just the right way. Especially the final track on the album, “Iowa.” The first minute or so is just sound effects before the song kicks in with an overall doom and gloom feeling. It keeps it slow and has an overall feeling of dread. You’re well over halfway through before the song kicks into another gear, and its utter insanity from that point on. During the recording of it, Corey Taylor stripped naked, cut himself with glass and puked all over the goddamn place. That’s a place you only go to one time and one time only.
In closing, this is an album you can’t recreate. Much like Slayers “Reign in Blood,” Metallica’s “Master of Puppets,” and any Black Sabbath album a lot of people site this album as the reason they started playing music, myself included. But what you guys think? What’s your favorite Slipknot album and why is it Iowa?
I’m Steven Jeffries from Audiovein Entertainment and I’ll see you, soon.